SMSF Basic – What Is A SMSF?

A SMSF stands for a Self-Managed Super Fund.

A SMSF is particularly popular among small business owners, high net worth individuals and retired (or soon to be retired) individuals with a reasonable amount of superannuation balance to invest.

The ATO SMSF quarterly statistical Mar 2019 report indicates that there are close to 600,000 SMSFs with 1.1 million total members. The total estimated SMSF assets are now $747 billion, made up of 30% of all super fund assets.

So, what is a SMSF?

As the name suggests, it is managed by yourself and you take control of investment decisions for your own retirement funding.

A SMSF must be run for the sole purpose of providing retirement benefits for you or your dependants.  Early access without meeting the requirements of SIS regulation/act is prohibited.

A SMSF is managed by the ATO. A SMSF needs to lodge its annual income tax return after the financial reports are audited by a registered SMSF auditor.

There are two types of SMSF:

  • A single member SMSF,
  • A non-single member SMSF, up to four members.

For a single member SMSF, it can be set up with a corporate trustee with a sole director also a member; or if the trustees are individuals, there must be two trustees.

For a non-single member SMSF, if the trustee is a corporate trustee, each director is a member. If the trustees are individuals, each individual trustee is a member.

Contact Beyond Taxation for some help with your SMSF queries today on 1300 552 993 or email

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